Fisker Karmas Catch Fire After Being Submerged By Sandy
As the Eastern United States began to survey the damage left by Superstorm Sandy yesterday evening, reports emerged that 16 Fisker Karmas had been destroyed in the storm. Jalopnik has pictures of the burned-out vehicles, most of which are virtually unrecognizable.
The cars were parked in Port Newark, New Jersey, which experienced flash flooding, and it’s believed that they were damaged after being partially submerged in salty sea water, possibly causing a short.
Today, Fisker released a short statement:
“It was reported today that several Fisker Karmas were damaged by fire at the Port of Newark after being submerged in sea water during Superstorm Sandy. We can report that there were no injuries and none of the cars were being charged at the time.
"We have confidence in the Fisker Karma and safety is our primary concern. While we intend to find the cause as quickly as possible, storm damage has restricted access to the port.
"We will issue a further statement once the root cause has been determined.”
History of Quality Concerns for Fisker
This latest incident isn’t the first report of a Fisker Karma catching fire. In August, Fisker issued a recall of the Karma to replace a flawed cooling fan that was implicated in a vehicle fire outside of a California grocery store. In May, a Karma was involved in a fire that destroyed a home and two other vehicles in Fort Bend County, Texas. Those two incidents came month after Fisker completed another recall due to fire dangers stemming from a design flaw in its battery packs, which are supplied by now-defunct battery maker A123 Systems.
Though the Port Newark fires haven’t yet been investigated, it’s difficult not to speculate that the problem could again be blamed on design flaws within the Karma. There have been no other reports of electric vehicles catching on fire during the massive superstorm that caused flooding throughout the New York City area, and we know that other electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF have undergone extensive water testing to ensure that their battery packs are sufficiently waterproof.
For Fisker, the news overshadows a successful $100 million round of fundraising and forthcoming announcements about its next planned vehicle, the Atlantic, which has faced substantial delays and doesn’t yet have a manufacturing site. At the very soonest, the Atlantic is now scheduled for production in late 2014, though Fisker likely still has a lot of money left to raise if that is to happen.
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